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How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension: media representations of Meghan Markle’s maternity

Orgad, Shani and Baldwin, Elizabeth (2021) How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension: media representations of Meghan Markle’s maternity. Women's Studies in Communication, 44 (2). 177 - 197. ISSN 0749-1409

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Identification Number: 10.1080/07491409.2021.1912497


In 2019–2020, Meghan Markle was one of the most intensely mediated mothers in the anglophone media. This article examines how U.K. and U.S. media representations of Markle negotiate, trouble, challenge, regulate, and reassert the boundaries and meanings of contemporary motherhood. Situating Markle’s mediated representations in the context of the increasing visibility and shifting meanings of motherhood in contemporary culture, and particularly in the context of the growing visibility of voices and accounts of “mothering while Black,” we examine the mediation of Markle’s maternity in three moments: (1) Prince Harry’s announcement of the birth; (2) Markle’s public outing with the baby, her later interview for an ITV documentary, and the lawsuit she filed against the British tabloid Mail on Sunday; and (3) the royal couple’s South Africa tour. We conclude by examining a fourth mediated moment—“Megxit”—and highlight the mediation of Markle’s maternity as a site that might open up a space for rewriting motherhood, and particularly Black motherhood, however limited that space may be.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Organization for Research on Women and Communication
Divisions: Media and Communications
Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2021 11:24
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 06:36

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